Dial-a-Ride is expanding to farm workers, and needs your help!
Workers will be able to call a Spanish language line at ACTR (Addison County Transit Resources) and request a ride (with 2 day notice). ACTR will arrange the ride and pay drivers mileage. The worker will be charged a flat fee of $10.
To make this program a success, ACTR will need more drivers and will need outreach to workers. The students at Middlebury College who spearheaded this effort wrote a grant proposal to Neat Repeats for the money to do the outreach. But, ACTR needs volunteers to help distribute flyers to farms, talk to workers and farmers and generally spread the word.
ACTR also needs drivers to sign up. Even if you think you may want to drive only one time, please sign up. You are not required to provide rides, so please sign up if you think you may want to drive. Mileage is paid to drivers directly by ACTR and is not charged to the worker.
To Sign Up
ACTR requires some paperwork to be completed and they will do a background check. The paperwork is available at the ACTR office on Creek Rd. in Middlebury. Or, contact Veronica Ciambra at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will send the paperwork directly to you. The application process takes a little time, so please start the process asap.
ACTR really wants to make this program get off to a strong start. Please tell others you know who may want to drive. Also let Veronica know if you want to help with outreach.
We now have 3 definite drivers for ACTR Dial-a-Ride. ACTR will open the Dial-A-Ride program to farm workers when they have 10 drivers for the program.
It is a process to become an ACTR driver and I know processes can sometimes be a drag, but this effort has a lot of promise. Once it is up and running and utilized (which will take time), it could be a great opportunity for workers, dairy workers and Jamaican fruit and vegetable workers to be able to get off the farm, become less isolated and more part of the community.
Right now, the way the program will work is that farm workers will call an ACTR phone line with a, Spanish language option, to request a ride. Workers will be charged for rides- mileage plus an administrative fee. But, they will be told the price up front by the dispatcher and will be able to refuse a ride if they feel it is too costly. Drivers will be dispatched from ACTR if a worker accepts a ride and drivers will fill out mileage forms once the ride is completed. Drivers are compensated for mileage directly by ACTR every 2 weeks.
If drivers do not want to be compensated, the mileage fee they would have been paid will be put into a fund with other funds Addison Allies Network has pledged ($500). This fund will be used to offset costs to farm workers. We are working to get funding to make the program free or lower cost to workers.
Once we get 10 drivers all signed up and ready to drive for ACTR, we will do an outreach campaign to let farm workers and farmers know about the program.
Let me know if you have any questions. Your support of this effort is much appreciated.
CVUUS recognizes ACTR’s efforts and made it the donee of the month for July. Listen to ACTR’s Mary Claire Crogan here: